Magic: The Art of the Social Misfit

Remember when you were a kid and someone took a quarter out of your ear? It was amazing. Or the guy that could guess your card every time, or make little squishy balls disappear then reappear in mid-air? That was some of the coolest stuff you could imagine. But what happens as you get older? Those uber-cool magicians morph into pseudo-creepy social misfits. Why is that?

Thurston: a 1930s Era Magician

My son and I recently got into magic. He has started learning a few card tricks, as have I. Sometime soon, I am going to order some tricks from an online magic store. I used to love magic when I was younger, and getting into it again is actually pretty cool. Even people (like my wife) who always seem above it all can sometimes be taken in by a cool trick. Speaking of my wife, I have done 3-4 card tricks for her and she just kind of smiled at most of them, but I finally got her with one. I could see in her eyes, “How the hell did he do that?” When I came back with another trick, she thought she had it figured out. But she didn’t. Like a dumbass, I did the trick again and screwed it up and she figured it out. Never do a trick a second time when you nailed it the first time, especially if your audience really wants to see it. (We magicians like to call our audience, “Howdaydodats”)

Maybe magic is just another morbidly geeky pursuit that I am destined to pursue. Maybe my brain is just wired for that kind of stuff.

None of us remember, but back in the late 1800s / early 1900s magic was awesome. Magicians weren’t geeky nerds, they were larger than life guys that would illicit not only applause and amazement, but a little bit of fear. People actually thought magicians had a link to some other-worldy entity. Hell, they could make people disa-fucking-pear! They could conjure up spirits and write answers on blank chalkboards. They could read your mind. hell, they were downright spooky. I wish we lived in a world like that. Where the average magician was a suave, mystical, somewhat dangerous man that you wanted to be around.

Jeff McBride: What Passes For A Magician Now

Next time you see me, ask me to do a magic trick for you. I promise it will blow you away and amaze you. And you’ll try to be all cool and shit. But you’ll ask me how its done, and I won’t tell you. Because that’s how we roll. Magicians, bitches.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 10:16 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes. You got me with one of the tricks. Yes. Magic is just another morbidly geeky pursuit of yours. Sometimes, it can be cool. “Howdaydodats” – yeah, I’m one of those.

  2. I am a big fan of Penn & Teller. Some of the other ones that seem to be popular don’t do it for me. I do not want to know how the trick works, I just want to be amazed! I was born in the wrong era, of course.

  3. yeah. what the hell is it with the magic trick spoiler shows. that is all I ever see anymore. I don’t wanna know how it is done either. I like my magic magical. ya know? so feel free to astound me the next time we meet. ya ol’ geek. 🙂

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